Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $763,767)
With the high rate of violent crime, gun violence and juvenile assaults at high levels per capita in the Virgin Islands, the criminal justice system must improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement, prosecution, corrections and community-based efforts to address this problem. This will be achieved through enhanced training, innovative technology, youth mentoring, gang intervention and illegal gun enterprise interdiction. The targeted population to be served ranges from pre-adolescents to senior citizens.
Goals of the Project:
To improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures through enhanced training, innovative technology enhancement for prosecuting crime, youth mentoring and gang intervention and illegal gun enterprise.
Reduce all crime and violence in the Virgin Islands by a significant level.
Increase information sharing between agencies, stakeholders and community.
Description of the Strategies to be used:
The 2020 Byrne (JAG) funds will be awarded to government agencies, faith-based organizations, and non-profits to address the causes and consequences of crime in the Virgin Islands. The funds will be earmarked for faith-based initiatives, prevention after school programs, enhanced equipment for law enforcement, vehicles, technology enhancements, increase personnel, on-going training programs (on and off-island), rehabilitation/treatment and general operations to include administrative cost in an effort aimed at improving the territorial Criminal Justice System.
All grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with priority to programs that have demonstrated successful outcomes in the past. Evidence-based programs will be given high priority in funding.
The mission of the LEPC is to ensure the Virgin Islands federal resources are effectively used for the benefit of present and future generations by ensuring consistency among various plans, policies, and programs.
To do this, the Commission is committed to:
1. Serve as a catalyst for planned and balanced federally funded programs.
2. Advise the Governor during the formulation of policies, laws, plans, and programs.
3. Encourage private/public partnerships in addressing crime and violence in the territory.
4. Ensure the availability and dissemination of information and data generated by the Commission for policy and plan development.
5. Provide technical support to all entities to ensure compliance with all requirements of the federal funding.
6. Ensure the availability of timely and accurate statistical indices that are required to make informed applications.
The LEPC closely monitors its strategies to ensure that the Virgin Islands can effectively and efficiently combat drug and violent crime. Additionally, we employ continuous effort to improve the criminal justice system to ensure that the activities conducted by one component of the system does not adversely impact another. In addition to formulating the territory’s strategy, the commission also makes funding decisions that impact crime. The LEPC and review committee determine which projects are to be funded and the specific items to be funded for each of the approved programs by addressing projects which have an impact upon reducing crime. The Director of the LEPC maintains the final determination on which programs are funded and at what funding levels.
Information on the resource needs, gaps in services and data as it relates to the overall operation of the criminal justice system are solicited and collected from the Virgin Islands’ criminal justice entities on an annual basis. This information is utilized in the Justice Assistance Grant application to BJA. The information provided by the organizations are analyzed and utilized to support the overall strategic plan development.
The following entities are LEPC’s partners in planning and strategic development:
Office of the VI Attorney General
Virgin Islands Police Department
Department of Corrections
Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
Department of Human Services
Department of Mental Health
Virgin Islands Homeland Security
Community non-profit, faith based and civic
All programs funded have implemented projects that have impacted crime and delinquency as well as enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system.
An improved criminal justice system that addresses the rate of crime and violence.
Up-to-date training and resources for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and community partners.
A reduction in juvenile violent crime and delinquency through mentoring and intervention programs.
A development of a comprehensive strategic criminal justice plan for the Virgin Islands.
The rate of violent crime and crimes against persons and property in the Virgin Islands has highlighted the need for additional resources to continue affecting significant positive changes in the criminal justice system.
Virgin Islands Project Identifiers:
Prosecution and Public Defense
Delinquency Prevention and Education
Prison Jail Industries
Law Enforcement Leadership
Community Based Programs